Great Leaders

Improvement Architecture’s 7 Great Leaders.

We asked Graham Sleep to name is top 7 greatest leaders, he has listed below his thoughts. Do you have anyone you would like to add to the list, please tell us why?

  1. Martin Luther King (MLK) – Passion came from a purpose.  He looked forward, never back and focussed on purpose rather than own comfort.
  2. Gandhi – if he was good enough for MLK to admire and learn from he is good enough for me.
  3. Jesus – read the beatitudes and you will find the epitome of a true leader (whether you chose to believe it or not).
  4. Allan Mullally – although some may not have heard of him, from a business perspective his simplistic approach in a complex world at Ford was an example to all leaders today.  Learn about the red dots…
  5. Bill & Melinda Gates – he admits he got lucky on timing with Microsoft, however, to have the heart to give so much away through philanthropy and having huge global impact through Gates foundation shows a lot more of the leader.
  6. Winston Churchill – if only the UK had this type of leader now to bring the country United.  Great orator and calm in a crisis.
  7. Marshall Goldsmith – confident enough in terms of his own ability whilst humble enough to share generally FOC his wisdom with the world.  Focus on giving rather than gaining…

Please feel free to join the conversation and leave your comments below. We look forward to receiving them.

Characteristics of a good leader.

Important Characteristics in Leaders

We asked Graham Sleep what he thought were important characteristics in a good leader.

Characteristics of a good leader.

Graham Sleep’s thoughts on being a good leader.


  • High emotional intelligence is the foundation, self-awareness and self-management lead to humility, and perseverance.
  • Passion for the right purpose leads to aspiration, personal motivation, high energy, hunger and courage.
  • Creative/Forward thinkingAbility to think and create visually the future-state leads to “holistic” decision-making.
  • Great communication skills Simple Communicator and for SMEs, a social connector, someone who can make complex sound logical, leads to engagement internally and externally.
  • The discipline to execute.
  • Ability to see PEOPLE first.  Belief in people creates and leads to strategy.
  • Helps others -should find pride in helping their team/staff succeed.
  • Integrity –Having strong values, beliefs, ethics and character allows others to identify with you.

Please join us in the discussion and state your thoughts and reasons, we look forward to hearing from you.

Getting over the struggle

Getting Over the Struggle

For those who have been successful but may be struggling a little, the following are transaction communication patterns (flaws) that often become unnoticeable habits (to us) that create challenges and roadblocks in our interactions with others.

Promoting my value

  • Adding too much value: The overwhelming desire to add our two cents to every discussion
  • Claiming credit that we do not deserve: The most annoying way to overestimate our contributions to any success.
  • Passing judgement: The need to rate others and impose our standards on them.
  • Starting with “No”, “But”, or “However”: The overuse of these negative qualifiers which secretly say to everyone, “I’m right. You’re wrong”.
  • Making destructive comments: the needless sarcasms and cutting remarks that we think make up sound sharp and witty.

Overusing emotions

  • Speaking when angry: Using emotional volatility as a management tool.
  • Negativity: “Let me explain why that won’t work”: The need to share our negative thoughts even when we were not asked.
  • Clinging to the past: The need to deflect blame away from ourselves and onto events and people from our past; a subset to blaming everyone else.
  • Making excuses: The need to reposition our annoying behaviour as a permanent fixture so people excuse us for it.
  • Playing favourites: Failing to see that we are treating someone unfairly.

Empowering the Ego

  • An excessive need to be “me”: Exalting our faults as virtues simply because they are who we are.
  • Passing the buck: The need to blame everyone but ourselves.
  • Refusing to express regret: The inability to take responsibility for our actions, admit we are wrong, or recognise how our actions affect others.
  • Winning too much: The need to win at all costs and in all situations – when it matters, when it doesn’t and when it is totally beside the point.
  • Telling the world how smart you are: The need to show people we’re smarter than they think we are.

Upholding Boundaries

  • Withholding information: The refusal to share information with others to maintain an advantage over them.
  • Failing to give proper recognition: The inability to praise and reward.
  • Not listening: The most passive-aggressive form of disrespect for colleagues.
  • Failing to express gratitude: The most basic form of bad manners.
  • Punishing the messenger: The misguided need to attack the innocent who are usually only trying to help.

by Graham Sleep

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